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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

‘It’s everything for us’: Inside the wild roller coaster of Dominican winter ball

Sometimes players don’t show up for the game, creating a scramble to replace them before rosters lock. Other times, a player will wait too long to tell somebody that he’s ailing and needs a rest. Once, the exact opposite happened. Before one game, with a few minutes before the roster deadline, Ramirez told the team trainer he was feeling banged up. Licey scrambled to remove Ramirez from the roster, only for Ramirez to pop his head into Hammock’s office a few minutes later wondering why he ...

shoewizard Posted: February 05, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dominican baseball, winter leagues

Cubs family patriarch Joe Ricketts apologizes after racist emails are revealed: ‘I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong’

“I deeply regret and apologize for some of the exchanges I had in my emails,” Joe Ricketts said in a statement. “Sometimes I received emails that I should have condemned. Other times I’ve said things that don’t reflect my value system. I strongly believe that bigoted ideas are wrong.”

Islamophobia was prevalent in many of the emails, with Ricketts stating, “Muslims are naturally my (our) enemy” in one. Others mentioned the faith of former President Barack Obama. Several of the ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Bill James: Babe Ruth Lost in Time

James posits that Babe Ruth would be a superstar in today’s game… not sure I buy it.

gehrig97 Posted: February 05, 2019 at 12:15 PM | 135 comment(s)
  Beats: babe ruth, bill james

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-5-2019

New York Evening World, February 5, 1919:


Cincinnati Club’s Charges That He Bet Against His Own Team Are Groundless.

Hal Chase, the first baseman, has been cleared of the gambling charges brought against him last season by the Cincinnati Club. After considering the evidence for a week John Heydler, President of the National League, announced the not guilty verdict this afternoon.

Thankfully, all this talk of gambling and fixed games is now behind us ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 05, 2019 at 10:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Caribbean Series Starts in Panama

Tournament was delayed two days after being shifted from Venezuela to Panama.  All games available on ESPN+ if you have that service (well even if you don’t they are available there, you just can’t watch).  It’s pretty good baseball and there is more of a ball in play component than usual MLB games.

Group A - Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico
Group B - Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico
Winners of each group face off in the final.

Monday: Dom. Rep. 3 - Puerto Rico 1
      Mexico 1 - Venezuela 5 ...

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: February 05, 2019 at 10:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: caribbean series, winter baseball

US sports leagues split on how to monetize sports betting

Jumping to the section of most direct relevance to baseball:

The NBA, MLB and golf’s PGA Tour began lobbying individual states for direct payments, an idea widely known among legislators and lobbyists as an “integrity fee” but that the leagues prefer to call a royalty. The leagues say they deserve to be reimbursed for costs to make sure their games are free from scandal and manipulation. They also feel that outside companies making money from games should share profits with those ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 05:32 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, gambling, integrity fee

A decade into his career, nothing’s surprising Jason Heyward anymore

It’s not hard to draw parallels between Jason Heyward and the Cubs team he plays right field for.

Arriving on the scene with a combo of (a bit green) youth and talent, both had to deal with sky-high expectations from the start. Heyward was the future of baseball, an intoxicating mix of 5 tools topped off with a generational glove. The Cubs were bursting at the seams with top prospects, flush with cash, and run by a man that Forbes magazine decided was a better leader than, among others, The ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 05:08 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

MLB Rumors: Giants have discussed trading for Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury

The Giants’ outfield situation is presenting more questions than answers with just weeks to go until the start of Spring Training, and now we can add another one to the list.

The question: Why is Jacoby Ellsbury’s name being associated with San Francisco?

Ellsbury, 35, missed all of last season with a series of injuries. He’s still owed $48 million on the 7-year, $153 million contract he signed with the Yankees after the 2013 season. He’s a lifetime .284 hitter and former Gold Glove award ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:50 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: bad ideas, giants, jacoby ellsbury

Pham goes to arbitration; Devenski avoids hearing

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Outfielder Tommy Pham asked an arbitration panel for a raise from $570,100 to $4.1 million, and the Tampa Bay Rays argued for $3.5 million.

Arbitrators Margaret Brogan, Andrew Strongin and Gil Vernon are expected to decide the case Tuesday, a day after hearing arguments.

Pham hit .275 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs for St. Louis and Tampa Bay, which acquired him on July 31. He batted .343 with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 39 games for the Rays.

Given Pham’s previous ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:43 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: arbitration, rays, tommy pham

Frankie’s back: Pirates give Liriano minor league contract

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Francisco Liriano is back with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 35-year-old left-hander agreed to a minor league contract with the team on Monday that includes an invitation to big league camp.

He pitched for Pittsburgh from 2013-16, going 41-36 with a 3.67 ERA and 659 strikeouts in 107 starts. He earned the victory in Pittsburgh’s win over Cincinnati in the 2013 NL wild card game, allowing one run over seven innings.

The Comeback Kid comes back one more time.

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: comeback, francisco liriano, pirates

Report: Jacob deGrom’s camp disappointed due to lack of substantive contract extension talks with Mets

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that pitcher Jacob deGrom’s camp is “disappointed” due to the lack of substantive talks about a contract extension. deGrom, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and a free agent after the 2020 season, avoided arbitration with the Mets last month, agreeing to an $11 million salary for the upcoming campaign.

This situation is particularly intriguing because the Mets’ new GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, used to represent deGrom as part of Creative ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: contract extension, jacob degrom, mets being mets

Here’s when your favorite MLB team reports for spring training

The Super Bowl is over, Tom Brady has another ring and your sports calendar should have turned over a new page — it’s baseball season, folks.

Even though the two biggest free agents this offseason — Bryce Harper and Manny Machado — are still set on the open market, the spring training machine won’t be stopped. Pitchers and catchers report next week, with the full squads coming in a few days later.

The Oakland Athletics are the first team to open camp, on Feb. 10, while most of the ...

QLE Posted: February 05, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: spring training

Monday, February 04, 2019

Sean Doolittle Calls His 2019 Star Wars Bobblehead One Of The Highlights Of His Career

The Nationals are harnessing The Force this season:

The Nationals’ 2019 promotional schedule released on Monday includes a camo tank top, Racing Presidents tote bag and the return of Friday night fireworks. It also features a Sean Doolittle “Obi-Sean Kenobi” Star Wars bobblehead, and no one is happier about that than the Nationals’ closer. “I’m not kidding that this is like one of the highlights of my career,” Doolittle said in a phone interview. “I finally have a Star Wars ...


Coroner: Fan struck in head by foul ball during Dodgers game died of blunt force injury

A California woman died in August as a result of being hit in the head by a batted ball at Dodger Stadium, according to a Los Angeles County coroner’s report obtained by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” and details her daughter revealed to OTL in December.

Linda Goldbloom, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, died on Aug. 29. The coroner’s report states the cause as “acute intracranial hemorrhage due to history of blunt force trauma” and states that the injury occurred when she was ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2019 at 09:49 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nets

Mathai: Raiders will play in Oracle Park next year

From Twitter post:

#BREAKING: #Raiders will play in San Francisco for 2019 season. Team reaches deal w/ #SFGiants to use #OraclePark (formerly #ATTPark). Announcement expected this week. (per my @NFL sources).

Place to discuss the ramifications here.

Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 04, 2019 at 04:48 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, raiders

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-4-2019

Harrisburg Telegraph, February 4, 1919:

What Are They Trying to Do, Hush Up Hal Chase Scandal?

Talk about George Creel, as a censor of news! How about these baseball magnates who had Hal Chase up for trial and are soon to give a decision, but have told the public nothing. The Chase hearing deserves full publicity, for baseball has never had but one gambling scandal before and this stuff much not get into the national pastime, or it will lose the support of the generous public. When a ball ...

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 04, 2019 at 10:13 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

Bob Friend, Pirates pitching legend, dies at 88

Bob Friend, an ironman right-handed pitcher who never spent a day on the disabled list during his 16-year Major League Baseball career, died Sunday from a cardiac event in his sleep. He was 88.

“It was sudden and there were no warning signs,” his son, also Bob Friend, a longtime pro golfer,said. “He wasn’t suffering and went out quickly and was discovered by my mother [Pat Friend] this morning.”

The elder Mr. Friend, who lived in O’Hara, was a poster boy for the Pirates in the ...

QLE Posted: February 04, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: bob friend, rip

NYDN: Madden: The players destroyed free agency and now only a real cap can get baseball back on track

In all his fiercely fought labor negotiations Miller had with the owners in the ’70s and ’80s, he was steadfast in refusing to agree to anything that would chip away at the foundation of free agency, which he won for the players through an arbitration decision in 1975. It was always Miller’s contention that free agency had to be unencumbered and to put any sort of financial constraints on the large market teams would undermine the entire process.

But that is exactly what’s happened ...

bobm Posted: February 04, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, labor relations, salary cap

Examining Where Teams Got Their Value in 2018

From this chart, it is fairly evident that teams generate the most value (more than a third of all value produced leaguewide) from trade acquisitions, followed by early round draft picks (who accrued more than 20% of league value) and free agent signings. It makes intuitive sense that draft picks provide less value on average the later they are picked, and the data bears this out, as each progressively later draft category provided roughly half the value of the preceding category. International ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: transactions

Former MLB pitcher Chris Capuano wants to help reinvent the future of the league—through innovation and negotiation

The “true genius” of the machine, per Capuano, is the integrated software that allows for comprehensive analysis using objective data—something more standard workout equipment lacks. “Think iPhone versus the flip phone,” he explained. “You exercise on the machine, the machine then produces data and insights that are automatically fed back in to inform future training sessions. You train again, and basically repeat that process indefinitely.”

Capuano, who underwent two Tommy John surgeries ...

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 04, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Why Steven Matz could be on verge of becoming elite pitcher for Mets

Mets LHP Steven Matz is a pivotal player for the Mets, which means the difference between making or missing the playoffs could hinge on how he performs in 2019.

Assuming each takes the mound 30 times this season, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will again be among the league’s elite pitchers. There’s every reason to believe Zack Wheeler, in his walk year, will continue his terrific turn-around from 2018. Jason Vargas (and the pitchers behind him) should never be counted on to be a ...

QLE Posted: February 03, 2019 at 04:35 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: mets being mets, steven matz

Report: Mets, Padres interested in Gio González

Free agent left-hander Gio González has continued to draw interest from the Mets this offseason, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. They aren’t the only interested party, either, as’s Jon Morosi noted Thursday that the Padres have added González’s name to an ever-expanding list of potential free agent targets. Time is running out before the 2019 season kicks off, however, and it remains to be seen whether either team will close a deal with the starter in the weeks ...

QLE Posted: February 03, 2019 at 04:27 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: gio gonzalez, mets, padres

2019 Giants Position Preview: Holes remain in inexperienced outfield

SAN FRANCISCO — Steven Duggar has 141 big league at-bats and is coming off shoulder surgery, but at the moment, he’s the closest thing the Giants have to an everyday outfielder.

The Giants have shuffled veterans through center field and anyone with a pulse through left field over the past decade, but even by those standards, the current situation is something strange. Duggar will enter camp with a clear shot at a full-time job. After that, the staff is essentially rolling a ball out there ...

QLE Posted: February 03, 2019 at 04:21 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, outfield

Ball from Bautista’s bat flip sells at auction for $28,000

The home-run ball that prompted Jose Bautista’s notorious bat flip in 2015 has sold at auction for more than $28,000.

According to the Lelands Auction House website Saturday, there were 17 bids. The winning one went for $28,252.

The home run at Rogers Centre came during the seventh inning of Game 5 of the American League Division Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers.

Wondering if this will summon a couple of posters who’ve been gone a long while….


QLE Posted: February 03, 2019 at 04:16 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: auction, bat flip, jose bautista

Saturday, February 02, 2019

THT: Roster Movement Is Decreasing, and Teams Are Becoming More Homogeneous

Fans who wish to hearken back to a simpler time when players stayed in one place and never left may be getting their wish. Since 2004, the average number of teams a player plays for in his career has decreased by 14.5 percent, from 2.34 teams in 2004 to just two teams in 2018.

Below is a graph detailing how player movement has changed over time since 1947. Although still not at the levels we saw in the ’80s, the overall pattern of player movement across the major leagues has been trending ...

bobm Posted: February 02, 2019 at 03:39 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: age, free agency, rosters

Blue Jays’ future spending brought into question by baseball’s revenue trends

The matter of how much the Toronto Blue Jays spend on their major league roster is a sour and complicated issue that has haunted the franchise for ages.

This is a big-market team with deep-pocketed owners and yet there have been times when the investment in payroll hasn’t seemed to be there — even when it would have been prudent to help get the club over the top, or at least into the race. There have also been moments when the desire for more spending has been a gripe of questionable merit ...

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dollah dollah bills, y'all, money

The MLB expansion could bring the Seattle vs. Portland I-5 rivalry to new heights

If you have ever been to a San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, you may have noticed the intense rivalry feeling with the “beat L.A.” chants ringing in your ears.

Now imagine a similar feeling when attending the future I-5 rivalry between the Seattle Mariners and Portland…

The time can’t come soon enough. But let’s take a look at how the proposed MLB expansion from 30 to 32 teams will actually effect the league.

Question, for those who are more familiar with ...

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:27 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: expansion, portland, rivalries, seattle

Why Giants prospect Joey Bart’s first big league camp is ‘invaluable’

Joey Bart is expected to start the 2019 season in Advanced Single-A, but in spring training, the Giants’ top prospect will be with the big league club.

The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft was one of 18 non-roster invitees to Giants big league camp. He should see plenty of action, but the best lessons for the 22-year-old could come outside of game action.

“There’s a whole culture about baseball that you have to learn,” Mike Krukow said Thursday on KNBR. “It’s more than just learning how to ...

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:23 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, joey bart, spring training

Mariano Rivera awed by his first Hall of Fame visit

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Mariano Rivera stopped at the entrance to the Plaque Gallery inside the Baseball Hall of Fame and just gazed at the walls, awestruck by the moment. He was a long way from Puerto Caimito, Panama.

“I can’t comprehend it. It’s just amazing. Too much,” Rivera said Friday as he soaked in his first visit to the Hall of Fame. “It’s quite a journey from a fishing village to a place where the best of the best is.

“For a man who loves the game of baseball, what ...

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, mariano rivera

A’s pitcher Sean Manaea is ‘feeling great’ following shoulder surgery

OAKLAND - When Sean Manaea underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in Septemeber, the expectation was that he would miss most, if not all, of the 2019 season.

Now, less than five months later, the A’s are optimistic their talented left-hander could return sometime around the All-Star Break.

“I’m feeling great,” Manaea told NBC Sports California. “This time compared to last year is 100 times better than how I felt. The surgery definitely fixed pretty much everything that was going on with my ...

QLE Posted: February 02, 2019 at 04:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, best shape of his life, sean manaea, shoulder surgery

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